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  • FIRST POST
    • ST1991
    • By ST1991 17th Jul 17, 4:51 PM
    • 396Posts
    • 218Thanks
    ST1991
    Smart Meter - Electricity use and showers
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:51 PM
    Smart Meter - Electricity use and showers 17th Jul 17 at 4:51 PM
    Recently had a smart meter installed to keep an eye on our electric and gas usage, and noticed how much certain things cost to use which i hadn't considered before.
    I have it set up to show us how much in pence per hour is being used.

    General costs like the TV and sky box are very low use, and it does go up when using the oven or kettle.
    But... when our shower is on it shoots up to around £1.50 per hour...

    Both me and my husband enjoy having a long shower, so we're trying to find a way to reduce our electricity consumption without having to forgo comfort.

    We have a few options, and opinions on this would be great.

    We could get a lower powered electric shower... but i worry that the water flow would be weak in comparison, and the cost saving would not be worth it (e.g go from a 9KWH to 8KWH)

    We have a very old valliant combi boiler which has been marked as 'super inefficient' but we could potentially run a shower from the bath taps instead. When running the central heating our boiler uses 20p p/h electricity and 60p p/h gas. I guess it would work out more cost effective to run a shower from that, or do i run the risk of bringing our 30 year old boiler to it's deathbed earlier than needed?

    I have only ever had an electric shower, so i'm not sure on the pros and cons of either option, or if there is anything else i am missing/could do to help.

Page 1
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • 2,975 Posts
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    martinsurrey
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    I would be using the boiler.

    Gas is around 1/3 of the price of electricity for heating water.

    As long as you can afford to replace the boiler when it packs in (which will then save you more cash in the long term).

    If you can afford it, replacing an old boiler now will save you a lot going forward. The difference between a 50% efficient old boiler and a 90% modern condenser will save you a fortune.

    Without lots of energy usage numbers I cant say if I think its better to replace asap or wait for it to die.
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 17th Jul 17, 5:33 PM
    • 651 Posts
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    Ganga
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:33 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:33 PM
    share the shower,will reduce the cost by 50%
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 17th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 4,953 Thanks
    jack_pott
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    General costs like the TV and sky box are very low use, and it does go up when using the oven or kettle.
    But... when our shower is on it shoots up to around £1.50 per hour...
    Originally posted by ST1991
    Yes, but appliances like the TV (and more importantly the fridge/freezer) are on for hours, the kettle and the shower are only on for minutes. Remember it's energy you pay for, not power!
    When running the central heating our boiler uses 20p p/h electricity
    WHAT!!!!! That's about 1400W! My boiler uses 29W at full load, and 6W average. My guess from that figure is that you've left something else on in the house as well as the boiler.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 17th Jul 17, 6:21 PM
    • 883 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:21 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:21 PM
    share the shower,will reduce the cost by 50%
    Originally posted by Ganga
    I think they already do

    "Both me and my husband enjoy having a long shower"

    I bet you do, you saucy pair...
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 17th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    Unsurprising result is unsurprising?

    Love a shower myself and my last house was an electric one. (Bad choice given I was doing a complete re-fit, but you live, you learn!)

    Current one is off the combi. My electric costs are well down! (combined cost of £90 p/m when it was £140 in old place, yes I know I have high use, but costs have gone up too so consider how much less i use now!)
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 17th Jul 17, 7:08 PM
    • 1,145 Posts
    • 1,917 Thanks
    coffeehound
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:08 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:08 PM
    We could get a lower powered electric shower... but i worry that the water flow would be weak in comparison, and the cost saving would not be worth it (e.g go from a 9KWH to 8KWH)
    Originally posted by ST1991
    Have you tried using the shower on its lower power setting(s)?

    The 8.5 kW one here is fine for me on half power during these warmer months. But it does depend on how warm/cold your incoming water is, which is something that varies from place to place. I moved a quarter of a mile to a new place once and the mains water was noticeably colder.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 17th Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 11,435 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    Whatever you do it's going to cost pretty much the same........ When it comes to a shower for example, the energy required to keep the water at the same temperature at the same flow will be absolutely identical no matter whether you use gas or electricity.
    Except of course the cost of conversion will far exceed any imagined savings.

    Gas costs less, but it's relatively inefficient.

    Electricity costs more, but electric heating is 99%+ efficient, as in almost all the energy put in is converted to heat.

    This is what people don't quite grasp when it comes to saving money on heating bills, using an electric heater in 1 or 2 commonly used rooms, is massively cheaper than heating the whole house on gas, BUT we've had it beaten into us over the years that electricity is really costly.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 17th Jul 17, 8:44 PM
    • 2,281 Posts
    • 1,522 Thanks
    EssexExile
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 8:44 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 8:44 PM

    This is what people don't quite grasp when it comes to saving money on heating bills, using an electric heater in 1 or 2 commonly used rooms, is massively cheaper than heating the whole house on gas, BUT we've had it beaten into us over the years that electricity is really costly.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    What about if you compare heating 1 or 2 commonly used rooms with gas or electricity? Or compare heating the whole house with gas or electricity?
    Comparing one scenario using one fuel with a different scenario using another fuel doesn't help.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 17th Jul 17, 9:11 PM
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    jack_pott
    This is what people don't quite grasp when it comes to saving money on heating bills, using an electric heater in 1 or 2 commonly used rooms, is massively cheaper than heating the whole house on gas, BUT we've had it beaten into us over the years that electricity is really costly.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Not by a long chalk. My electricity costs 3.64 times the price of the gas, taking boiler efficiency of 90% into account, the gas is still 3.28 times cheaper. I can heat the whole house by GCH for about the same price as heating one room by electric.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 17th Jul 17, 10:57 PM
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    Grenage
    Aye, unless your house has the insulation value of a packet of crisps, it could easily cost the same (or less) heating the whole house with GSH vs 1 room with electric.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 17th Jul 17, 11:02 PM
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    jack_pott
    Aye, unless your house has the insulation value of a packet of crisps, it could easily cost the same (or less) heating the whole house with GSH vs 1 room with electric.
    Originally posted by Grenage
    The insulation of the house is irrelevant. The amount of energy required to heat a space is the same regardless of whether you use gas or electricity, the issue is the price you pay for it.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 17th Jul 17, 11:09 PM
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    Grenage
    It's not irrelevant. If a house is very poorly insulated, and the occupants spend most of their time in one room, it could easily work out cheaper running an electric heater (or turning off the other rads).
    • Furts
    • By Furts 18th Jul 17, 6:46 AM
    • 3,370 Posts
    • 2,124 Thanks
    Furts
    It's not irrelevant. If a house is very poorly insulated, and the occupants spend most of their time in one room, it could easily work out cheaper running an electric heater (or turning off the other rads).
    Originally posted by Grenage
    My thoughts are along these lines. The cheapest way to heat my home is a couple of electric mini oil filled rads. These would give an output of 2kW. When the gas boiler is in use it has an output way in excess of this - 30kW maximum.
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 18th Jul 17, 7:02 AM
    • 761 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Apodemus
    If you can afford it, replacing an old boiler now will save you a lot going forward. The difference between a 50% efficient old boiler and a 90% modern condenser will save you a fortune..
    Originally posted by martinsurrey
    But only if you are very careful/lucky in your choice of boiler as many condensing combis won't deliver these higher efficiencies for the hot water portion of their function. And that is leaving aside that, in actual use, many installations won't get anywhere close to their quoted efficiencies either! Too many threads on this topic for us to go back down that rabbit hole again!
    • Niv
    • By Niv 18th Jul 17, 7:44 AM
    • 1,502 Posts
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    Niv
    But only if you are very careful/lucky in your choice of boiler as many condensing combis won't deliver these higher efficiencies for the hot water portion of their function. And that is leaving aside that, in actual use, many installations won't get anywhere close to their quoted efficiencies either! Too many threads on this topic for us to go back down that rabbit hole again!
    Originally posted by Apodemus

    Well if you are going down that road there is also the argument that buying a 20% more efficient boiler is great at reducing fuel cost but how long does it take to pay off that new boiler with your 20% energy saving...
    YNWA

    Mortgage free by 58.
    • ST1991
    • By ST1991 18th Jul 17, 8:51 AM
    • 396 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    ST1991
    Thanks everyone for your input!

    Sorry if i seemed stupid, it isn't something i've ever really thought about before but this is the first house we've purchased so we're trying to keep all costs to a minimum, or at least try to save some somewhere.

    WHAT!!!!! That's about 1400W! My boiler uses 29W at full load, and 6W average. My guess from that figure is that you've left something else on in the house as well as the boiler.
    Our boiler really does use that much electricity whilst in use! I had tested it a few times just to make sure the fridge hadn't powered up at the same time, and it uses that much as soon as it starts up. It is a very old boiler, i think 30 years old, so not sure if that has something to do with it.

    Current one is off the combi. My electric costs are well down!
    That's good to know! In that case i think we will probably look to put a shower running from the boiler in once we re-vamp the bathroom.

    And a new boiler once the current one dies, if ever. Although it is inefficient i don't see the point of replacing it until it is broken. We don't really use much gas anyway, maybe heating the house for 2-3 hours a day in the winter, as it doesn't take long for the house to heat up and stay nice and toasty on the evening.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 18th Jul 17, 12:12 PM
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    jack_pott
    It's not irrelevant. If a house is very poorly insulated, and the occupants spend most of their time in one room, it could easily work out cheaper running an electric heater (or turning off the other rads).
    Originally posted by Grenage
    If your boiler is more than 28% efficient, then it's cheaper to use gas irrespective of whether your house is insulated, and irrespective of how many rooms you heat.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 18th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 4,953 Thanks
    jack_pott
    My thoughts are along these lines. The cheapest way to heat my home is a couple of electric mini oil filled rads. These would give an output of 2kW. When the gas boiler is in use it has an output way in excess of this - 30kW maximum.
    Originally posted by Furts
    No, the boiler has a thermostat, so the amount of heat it produces is determined by the amount of heat required to warm the house to the desired temperature. For any given temperature rise, the amount of energy required to heat it is dependent on the fabric of the building, not the method of heating.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 18th Jul 17, 12:19 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
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    Grenage
    You're stating things that are obviously true, but not contradicting anything I've said; I am confused as to your point.
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